15 January 2014
The International Glaucoma Association (IGA) launches its 40th Anniversary Appeal to raise further funds for the diagnosis, management and treatment of glaucoma. In 1974 Ronald Pitts Crick set up the IGA in order to prevent the loss of sight from glaucoma. Over 40 years on, and the organisation has the same mission:
“To raise awareness of glaucoma, promote research related to early diagnosis and treatment and to provide support to patients and all those that care for them.”
The work of the IGA is as relevant today as it was 40 years ago. At that time, doctors at King’s College Hospital, where the IGA was first based, were keen to improve patient care and find out more about the practical issues associated with living with glaucoma. The response from patients was enthusiastic, with many wanting more information and research into glaucoma. So, the IGA was formed.
Forty years later, the IGA has spent around £2.5million researching the causes of glaucoma and finding better ways of detection. The IGA was the patient representative in the development of the National Institute for Clinical Excellence guidelines for glaucoma and works closely with all of the professional bodies involved in diagnosing and treating people with glaucoma, including Ophthalmologists, Opticians, General Practitioners and Pharmacists.
The IGA helpline is a valuable source of information to both newly diagnosed patients and people living with glaucoma. It has over 20 leaflets covering the different types of glaucoma and lifestyle issues such as glaucoma and driving, glaucoma and pregnancy. The IGA website provides information and news for professionals and patients.
The IGA’s annual awareness campaign has previously focused on raising awareness of eye health, particularly in the over 40s, and this year’s campaign will focus on the African-Caribbean population who are four times at risk of being diagnosed with glaucoma.
True to its founding principles, the IGA service is provided free of charge. The organisation does not receive any funding from Government and relies on donations, legacies and fundraising.
Despite greater professional and public awareness, it is widely recognised that there are over 300,000 people in the UK with undiagnosed glaucoma. It is vital that glaucoma is detected early in order to protect sight. The 40th Anniversary Appeal seeks to raise further awareness of glaucoma amongst at risk groups.
To find out more about the IGA, the 40th Anniversary appeal, the research that has been funded or how to become involved in our work visit the website: www.iga.org.uk; like us on Facebook or join us on Twitter.
For more information about IGA contact: Karen Brewer on email@example.com or call 01233 64 81 69.
With Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland already living under nation-specific lockdown levels, England will be entering a nation-wide lockdown from Thursday 5 November. We have received many calls from people living with glaucoma who are concerned that their treatment and upcoming procedures may be disrupted or cancelled during this time.
In response to these concerns, we have reached out to a number of glaucoma consultants for their feedback. They anticipate that appointments will continue, however should hospital admissions for coronavirus rapidly increase then ophthalmology staff may be redeployed to the COVID-19 wards. These will be junior staff in a first instance, to allow consultants to continue seeing their patients and proceed with any upcoming surgeries.
The intention is still to provide a level of service where possible, therefore if you have been told that you have an appointment, this will hopefully still stand. But should COVID-19 numbers rise sharply, there is a possibility that some appointments and surgeries may be cancelled due to more ophthalmology staff being needed on the COVID-19 wards.
As per the first lockdown, individuals will be assessed and priority given to urgent cases.
If you have any concerns or need advice, particularly during these uncertain times, our glaucoma helpline team are always here to support you. You can reach them on 01233 64 81 70 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Lines are open Monday to Friday, 9:30am to 5:00pm.Read More